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Author’s NoteThis post was written with precisely the same motive, curiosity and sense of urgency as that of an ethical hacker, who thinks he might have stumbled upon a gaping and important vulnerability in an operating system. That vulnerability, in a nutshell, is this: “Move” to and register to vote in the Georgia run-off elections, swinging the balance of the US Senate your way. Seems simple. I do not advise it. It might not be…

At this time, we’d like to offer early boarding to passengers traveling with small children, and our active military members.”once-familiar refrain at airports It’s just before Easter, and it’s starting to feel like we’re entering Act II of the COVID-19 crisis. The frightening curves are flattening in many parts of the country. The number of new infections in hotspots like New York and Washington State are leveling off — even showing very early signs of…

I’m reading lots of pieces (for instance here, here and here) about the COVID Class of 2020, detailing many real and heartbreaking stories of the traditions and moments that high school seniors are losing. And on social media, I’m reading wonderful and genuine expressions of sympathy, like this one on Nextdoor: No question: high school seniors have it particularly rough. I would have hated for the world to go into suspension and lock-down in the…

I am noting for my future self that yesterday, Sunday March 22, 2020, was the day that my mood shifted fairly markedly from gloomy about the mid-term 3-9 month window to optimistic. SHORT TERM (0-2 months) things will get tougher, and media gloom will accelerate as the wave now hits NYC. From a life and death, risk and economic standpoint, there is much pain ahead of us to endure. But mid-term (3-9 months) to long-term…

Late last week, a few of us started discussing ways we could help out local restaurants that are devastated by the COVID crisis. My friend Michelle came up with the brilliant idea to raise money to buy gratitude meals for first responders, to help express just some of our thanks for the work they’re doing and will do. I think a lot of people want to help in various ways, and have lots of different constraints…

At this writing in Seattle, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, nearly all schools have announced closure, and have gone (or are soon going) to remote learning. Many workplaces have also done the same, and public officials are encouraging people not to gather in large groups. First, please read this excellent summary from Tomas Pueyo as to why we need to implement social distancing now, not in the future, but now. I think it may be apocryphal,…

In the age of simplicity, nuance is a liability, not a strength Senator Elizabeth Warren has suspended her campaign. With comparatively more realistic and detailed plans and the talent to explain them, she should have easily beaten Senator Bernie Sanders for the hearts and minds of the progressive left wing of the party. But she didn’t. Why not? Was it sexism alone, or was more at work? Warren Wasn’t My Preferred Candidate First, I should…

There’s a new genie that’s popped from the lamp to help pay for the wishlist of multi-trillion dollar programs, and it’s got a smart-sounding name: “Modern Monetary Theory.” It’s also got a very heavy lift, because of the staggering federal spending ambitions of both Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Each candidate would more than double the size of the entire federal government. To get a feel for the scale of the federal spending that…